We woke early in the morning, drove to the train station (just 10 mins from hotel), ate some wonderful bagels (CANNOT get a desent bagel in Michigan!!!!!), and then waited just minutes for our train into the city!
This was my boys' first time on a train so they were super excited!
The train pulled up and we borded an almost empty car. After a short argument over windows, we pulled away from the station and we were off on our adventure!
The ticket-taker guy (I should really know his proper name....) came and snipped our tickets... The boys fired off questions to him...but unfortunatly he didnt answer them. I'm sure he gets a lot of it...but he could have said something to them. It didnt damper their spirts though... and they were facinated and interested at everything we passed by.
There were a few stops along the way to NYC...and yes... every stop we were asked if that was NYC... My boys have been to a couple of cities... but there are cities, and there is NYC, Chicago, etc... They have never seen anything like the Big Apple so I'm sure they didnt quite know what to expect.
Alas, we finally did arrive in NYC... at Penn Station in Manhattan!!
We found a very friendly NYPD officer who directed us in the right direction, gave our kids high-fives and promised not to arrest them (yes... we do watch cops in this house! *laughs*)
We had about 45 minutes to get to the pier to take our boat ride...and along the way we needed to do an ATM stop and buy a camera for P who had "put hers away" the night before and was left camera-less when she couldnt remember where she had put it.
We were walking through the garmet district and there were pleanty of electronic stores... so it was no problem finding a good deal on a camera...but then we had to hustle to get to the boat.
Gosh those "few" blocks were long... but we made it! We made it as in we were almost running to the boat before they pulled away! They did let us on though which we were very thankful for! We took a nice ride down the Hudson and we were going to circle Lady Liberty and head back to the pier... I had bribed the kids to walk quickly by teling them I'd buy them a snack...so popcorn and sprites all around!!!! The kids liked the boat ride till we got to the Statue..... P went out to take pics... then I did... we tried to make it exciting for the kids... talking about immigrants... what it meant to people... etc... It didnt quite work... the kids had finished their drinks and now they wanted off the boat...
E also came up with the BEST quote of the trip... when while I was talking about the Statue of Liberty he told me: "Mom... I'm just not that impressed... we see it on tv all the time... can we go home now????" I almost fell down laughing.... couldnt believe it... Ellis Island... who cares? We want to go home! *laughs*
We did eventually make it back to the pier...then we made the crazy decision to walk to Central Park. We made it!!!!! We passed thousands of people, businesses, etc... passed Time Square, things like that... and PIGEONS!!!!! Oh my!!!! My boys just LOVED those pigeons!!!!! Pigeons, Pigeons everywhere!!!!!! and yes... I was told about each and every single one of them! *laughs*
Central Park was a lot of fun. While I laid down on a bench... the kids played... one thing P and I didnt notice though...was that the play area we just told our boys to play in... was also a splash park... yes... clothes, shoes, and all... they took full advantage of it all! Even though E told me he couldnt walk one more single step...soon as those boys saw the play area...they were off and running!
We stayed for a little over an hour and then decided to stop and get lunch at the park.
Hot dogs, sausages (super yummy btw!!!), and pretzels for all!!!!! and for dessert, Gelato! WoooHooo!!!!! I love street food!!!! Just cant get street food out here in the burbs ya know!
We then decided to call it a day.... and decided to take the kids on the NYC subway!!!!! Of course it took a few minutes of explaination that no, we were not going to Subway restaurant...but there is an actual physical thing called a Subway. *laughs*
We made it through the turnstyles... that was fun.... but we made it...and got on the train... of course.. in all our hurry, we didnt bother to find out the direction of the train... so we made a switch-a-roo at the next station! *laughs*
The kids were pretty excited bout being on the subway...even though it was jam packed... made it back to Penn Station, and waited to board our next train going back to Jersey.
I really thought we would have sleepers on the train... all the walking, playing, and then eating we did... but little D was the only one who took a nap...and he only napped for minutes....
Made it back to Jersey... and then to the welcome party for GAFE!
My dh had already met some of my "online" friends... so when I arrived I finally got to meet them face to face!!!! Also got to see a few old friends that I have known for a while! That's what I like about these get-togethers... meet new people and catch up with those you have known for a while... just love seeing how families evolve and how the kids change and such.
They had some great appitizers at the "Welcome Party" so we had some of those... we then made a quick food run and P and I went off to watch a movie about a Guatemalan Finca ran solely by Guatemalans. The people in the town actually own the land and they reap the benefits from their own land. Pretty good movie and hopefully it sparked some activisim in some people in the room.
The movie was "Voice of a Mountain" they have a website at: http://www.voiceofamountain.com/
I'm very happy that we decided to take the kids into the city. I know I highly enjoyed it and I know they enjoyed the trains and such. Just thrilled that I am able to expose my kids to all kinds of new things.... we are very blessed and lucky to be able to try to show our kids the world!
Waiting for the Train!
F is not quite sure of the train... Yet!
K enjoying the view!
D and E loving their trainride!!!!
Our Tour Boat!
Waiting for Snacks!
Little Tude...showing some attitude...
E enjoying the splash pad!
K holding down a couple of sprinklers!
K and D doing some exploring!
Just a' Swinging!
My boys... being my boys... D is not so sure....
Hanging out in Central Park!
Everyone Loves a street food lunch!!!
F and D on the NYC Subway!!!!!
K was so tired... he fell asleep from the train station to the hotel... he kept his sucker though!